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Hunting access


Nomad

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We all know access to land is becoming more and more a problem ,here’s what I hear and see being two issues , how to resolve idk .
 

The two reasons I hear from fellow landowners near me for denying access. Taxes and liability .

I had a number of owners say to me in conversation,” when someone asks to hunt I say ,when you pay my taxes you can hunt .” This came up the other day when I mentioned to a nearby land owner that the new guy over on blank road has a big antler sticker on his truck ,first he said “ well he can’t hunt around here .” Then he said the tax thing  . Fact is folks are becoming sensitive to buying expensive land,then paying the high tax, but letting others just use it for free . 

Number two liability, even though NYS general obligation laws protect land owners from  liabilities from non playing hunters , the fear is enough to,deny access . Our lawyer turns down the snowmobile club’s request to cross our land yearly , as he says why risk being part of some creative lawsuit ? 
 

That’s what I see around here , not anti hunting or anything like that but taxes and liabilities . Send me lawyers,guns and money !

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In CT you fill out this form > https://portal.ct.gov/-/media/DEEP/hunting_trapping/forms_applications/consentpdf.pdf 

Per the below, landowners are protected. However, it still very difficult to get access. I find people/s names on ONX then email or call them, but no luck so far. Either no hunting, or they already others to hunt. Surprisingly, I have had better success in SENY asking.

Landowner Liability Release

Connecticut law provides protection from liability to landowners who allow, without a fee, the recreational use of their property.

Sec. 52-557g. Owner of land available to public for recreation not liable, when (b) Except as provided in section 52-557h, an owner of land who, either directly or indirectly, invites or permits without charge, rent, fee, or other commercial service any person to use such land or part thereof for recreational purposes does not thereby:

  1. Make any representation that the premises are safe for any purpose;
  2. Confer upon such person who enters or uses such land for such recreational purposes the legal status of an invitee or licensee to whom a duty of care is owed;
  3. Assume responsibility for or incur liability for any injury to person or property caused by an act or omission of such owner.

Sec. 52-557h. Owner liable when: Nothing in sections 52-557f to 52-557i, inclusive, limits in any way the liability of any owner of land which otherwise exists;

  1. For willful or malicious failure to guard or warn against a dangerous condition, use, structure, or activity;
  2. For injury suffered in any case where the owner of land charges the person or persons who enter or go on the land for the recreational use thereof, except that, in the case of land leased to the state or subdivision thereof, any consideration received by the owner for such lease shall not be deemed a charge within the meaning of this section.
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Around here leases are becoming the norm. 
 

The dairy farm I’ve worked on since I was 10 has let me hunt it like it was my own, roughly 1500 acres. When I got out the service the owner told me he was sending everyone that asked for permission my way so I started putting my number on the posted signs. A couple years ago a fella from Albany called and told me he had a group that was looking to lease the entire farm, I gave him the number to the owner as I wasn’t going to tell him no. A while later my boss called me and told me what they offered him and I almost puked. It’s a lot of acres but they offered a lot more than I thought it was worth and told him he’d be an idiot not to work out the deal. The other 3 large farms in the area followed suit shortly after. 
 

The days of knocking on a door and gaining permission are coming to a very near end in this part of New York. It’s funny because I have had great luck knocking on doors in Ohio and Kentucky, yet leases go for big money out there.

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I agree taxes here are very high. I have a few members at camp that pitch in monetarily . Usually  given as  "put it towards what you need"  , or they buy fertilizer, seeds, gas for tractors.

I have never asked for money. But it is appreciated. 

Many have helped  build my house and barn and that means  more than the $. Some come and help with stands , trimming lanes ect..  but most atand work i do myself , to which they then complain all the stands are lefthanded.. i tell them then come put them up yourself  as im left handed.. it does work out for my left handed friends.

I think what landowners want  more than anything  is appreciation for letting one hunt,ride atv,fish,ect...

Liability i know is coverered under nys  but it still weighs on ones mind ..

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I think it is really situational. I can't say i ever tried getting access on a complete strangers piece of land,so no experience there. I sometimes ask clients if they would let me bowhunt if the property looks interesting. It is easier if you know the people already. I got some access this year to a couple hundred acres on a nice creek with lots of overgrown fields,I will be very curious to see what is going on there. A friend just offered another couple of hundred acres on a different creek that he is the caretaker for. I guess I will have to see how those river bottoms hunt, never done that before.

This is all for bowhunting which I think is easier to get access for.

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27 minutes ago, G-man said:

I agree taxes here are very high. I have a few members at camp that pitch in monetarily . Usually  given as  "put it towards what you need"  , or they buy fertilizer, seeds, gas for tractors.

I have never asked for money. But it is appreciated. 

Many have helped  build my house and barn and that means  more than the $. Some come and help with stands , trimming lanes ect..  but most atand work i do myself , to which they then complain all the stands are lefthanded.. i tell them then come put them up yourself  as im left handed.. it does work out for my left handed friends.

I think what landowners want  more than anything  is appreciation for letting one hunt,ride atv,fish,ect...

Liability i know is coverered under nys  but it still weighs on ones mind ..

I give landowners (non-farms) gift cards to restaurants, a plant for their wives, a pie during the holidays, wine, etc. They are typically older people who ask for nothing when I ask if they need any help around their properties, so I just do what i mentioned instead. I even voted for a democratic town judge once just to get access to hunt!

Edited by 2BuckBizCT
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Before I purchased my own land I was granted access to a few farmers property but it was through family friends who knew the owner. I would always find ways to help them out. I would come down in the spring and help clear tractor paths of downed trees and help cut and stack firewood with the family in the fall, I offered another land owner a few back straps because he was getting too old to hunt.

I think offering something can go a long way, not just asking to use the land for free. Those old timers appreciate some hard work and don't believe in getting something for nothing.

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I used to have a little under 1000 acres to hunt in.  Now it's down to only my 230 that my name is on.  Such is going to happen when the man who "owned everything as far as the eye could see" passes and his kids squabble.  If someone is going to pay you a few grand to hunt, seems dumb not to take.  I get random calls now from real estate agents looking to buy property too.

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The farms I hunt have had multiple people approach them hoping to get a lease going. Now these are moderate sized parcels at around 200 acres each. When I say farms, these haven't seen cattle in 30 yr+.  The owners are very well off at the few grand that's been offered many times doesn't matter to them, thankfully.  

I mow and maintain the properties and have been for yrs. They started as clients, they are more like family after all these years.  I do a lot more around these properties that I don't get paid for and they are grateful, as am I too be able to hunt them. 

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I don’t hunt our 120, I’ve let a couple locals hang a stand here and there . Most farms here run hundreds to thousands of acres , loading hay for a couple days isn’t going to get you a hunting spot , like the bygone era may have on a small farm .

And the guys who live on a few dozen acres that they paid high dollars for aren’t looking for guests lol.  They look at their mortgage and tax bill vs your day of work or some meat , and you come up short .

Just what I see .

Then the solar farm people offered me 3-4 thousand an acre a year so there’s that vs some meat and wine .


 

 

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I lease from a friend that doesn't hunt.  Least I can do is help him with some taxes and what we pay is a great deal.  But he has been approached before and told everyone no as he doesn't know them and trusts us. Also we cut all the trails for him and cut brush etc so he doesn't have to spend all that time and effort to keep it up.  It works out and he is a great guy.   We also give him venison and a 12 pack at the end of season.   Plus I think he loves all our hunting stories.   Lol

"it's pointless for humans to paint scenes of nature when they can go outside and stand in it"- Ron Swanson

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I’ve never asked a total stranger for permission. I personally don’t like being solicited by phone or at my door (spam). Face-to-face would be the right way to ask for permission but walking up to someone’s home feels like such an intrusion.

Now, once you’ve built a relationship with someone, or at the very least related on a personal level, the ask feels less inappropriate. 

We go up to the wineries in the finger lakes yearly. At one particular winery my dog would play with the owner’s dog (both versatile hunting dogs). After a few visits, talking grapes and hunting, the owner very generously invited me to hunt in one of his vineyards. When you connect with people without expectations, these things tend to be much more natural. 

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1 hour ago, Robhuntandfish said:

I lease from a friend that doesn't hunt.  Least I can do is help him with some taxes and what we pay is a great deal.  But he has been approached before and told everyone no as he doesn't know them and trusts us. Also we cut all the trails for him and cut brush etc so he doesn't have to spend all that time and effort to keep it up.  It works out and he is a great guy.   We also give him venison and a 12 pack at the end of season.   Plus I think he loves all our hunting stories.   Lol

Trust is more important to most landowners than money. 

The one farm I hunt was sold off 3 yrs ago. I thought my 30+ yrs of hunting and making memories on that property were gone. Fortunately for me, I was doing the lawn care for the previous owner and the new owner wanted someone they could trust to look after the property. 

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I've bow hunted Apple orchards, pumpkin patches and a nursery only after bringing my family to each places and bringing some business and talking with the owners. Each spoke of their frustration with deer damage, maybe after I pointed out how much sign/damage I noticed!?! The nursery produced some slobs but that changed owners who changed the place quite a bit. 
many of the places in 3S are very small parcels where the owner would be happy to have a hunter but getting all the neighbors on board is the challenge and often the end of any potential.

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